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“Afternoon Tea” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Grand Imperial London

Grand Imperial London
101 Buckingham Palace Road, London SW1W 0SJ, England (Westminster)
(020) 7821 8898
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Ranked #2,038 of 17,041 Restaurants in London
Price range: $30 - $61
Cuisines: Chinese
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Neighborhood: Westminster
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Afternoon Tea”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2014

We've had many afternoon tea experiences all over the UK so were intrigued to try this one out, an Asian twist. Greeted with a warm welcome and seated promptly we were given the option of having the basic or champagne set, we choose champagne. Our glasses of champagne were delivered to our table within a few moments then about 5 minutes later a large pot of Jasmin tea. We then had an opportunity to chat before the food came which was great as normally they are keen to give you the food as soon as you sit down. There was three tiers of Asian bites, the mushroom croquette was delicious. About half way through our food the waitress replaced out tea with a fresh pot which was a nice touch. Overall a good experience, only comment would be that on the website it says you get to pick the tea from their 'extensive selection', we had no choice and neither did the tables around us. Worth a visit and would recommend to others.

  • Visited January 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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265 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
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UK
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Promised a lot but ultimately didn't deliver...”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2014

You can't help but be impressed by the grand interior of this restaurant, with its high ceilings and classic decor, and classy atmosphere. The very extensive and quite exotic menu, with its fairly steep prices (even by London standards), add to the aura that the place wants to be seen as something special.

And the waiting staff are incredibly attentive - as soon as you want anything they're there - ready to serve to replenish drinks and take orders. And the glass of Chenin Blanc I had was stunningly good...

I had the hot and sour soup to start. This was good - very good in fact - really authentic and a cut above your average Chinese. Could have been perhaps just a tad spicier for my palette, but great nonetheless.

So this proves that they do know how to cook here - so it was all the more baffling that such a poor dish arrived for the main course...

For main I ordered a pan fried pork loin with garlic. Sadly this was one of the worst dishes I've ever had in a Chinese restaurant. It consisted of a few large and thin slices of pork loin, fried in a batter; no sauce or herbs or spices other than a little dry roasted garlic and chilli sprinkled on top. It was edible, but completely lacking in flavour - it wasn't cooked well enough - it was simply a really dull dish. I've eaten Chinese in many places (including China) but this dish quite simply didn't even taste of any of the many Chinese cuisines.

One of my measures of a good dish when eating is whether I could have done better cooking it myself at home. For this one, the answer is a resounding 'yes' - I could quite easily have cooked up a better version in my own home.

All the more frustrating because I imagine the chef here can in fact cook - but for whatever reason (perhaps because its part of a 'tourist' menu), it just felt like the restaurant could not be bothered with this particular dish.

It doesn't entice me to want to go back, sadly

  • Visited January 2014
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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Reigate, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Nothing to write home about”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2014 via mobile

Rather stuffy, not friendly, lots of staff, but no interaction encouraged whatsoever. We went for the 3 course with champagne deal. None of us wanted dessert, so asked if we could have 2 starters instead of dessert. An immediate 'no'. Opted for the duck and 2 course menu. No way did we have the whole duck we paid for. Menu was extremely limited and not what you'd except from a high end restaurant. Very poor value. Wine expensive. Food was ok, but at £60 a head, disappointing.

Visited January 2014
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Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
“Good Chinese cuisine, but lousy service”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2014

My husband & I love Chinese cuisine and since we can't find any good Chinese in our home country.. we look forward to dining here when we are in London. The duck is one of the best I have had. We dined here twice our last visit to London. However, the service needs some work. The servers seem preoccupied and annoyed by their customers. We had 3 different servers and no one refilled our wine or water glasses for us.. not once. You have to get their attention, which sometimes took awhile, and then they seemed annoyed and rude. On our second visit we asked for a manager to serve us and we had much better service that visit. We will return again next month for the food & ambiance, but we will ask for a manager from the start.

Visited February 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Probably the least charming staff ever encountered!”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2014

Stumbled upon this restaurant, and sat down to the 2 course seasonal menu. I have to say the food was quite tasty however the staff were staggering. Everytime we tried to get their attention, they would begrudgingly stomp over and take our order. I did not see one smile from any of the staff whilst we were there. Eventually we got the giggles from the grumpiness, declared that all staff that work at the Grand Imperial must attend charm school immediately!

  • Visited January 2014
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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